As part of activities to commemorate the second anniversary of JKF-2.0 administration, the Government of Ekiti State organised a High-Level Retreat to undertake an introspection of the first half of the administration along the 5-pillar programme of Agriculture and Rural Development; Infrastructure and Industrial Development; Social Investments; Growing the Knowledge Economy and Governance. The realisation of the value points of these pillars is expected to lead to overall human, physical and economic development of the State.
According to the Chairman of the Retreat Planning Committee, Mr. Biodun OYEBANJI, the retreat has been planned to afford top government officials the opportunity to assess the mid-term Ekiti Governance Review Report 2020; reflect on the first two years (2018-2020) of the Dr. Kayode FAYEMI-led administration in Ekiti and realign programmes and plans with new governance priorities as well as reflect on how the government can improve on service delivery and governance to ensure more impactful outcome. The retreat was further expected to reenergiseparticipants, drawn from political and bureaucratic heads of all agencies of government and who lead strategic sectors or agencies,towards innovative thinking that provides practical solutions contributing to the attainment of the visions and aspirations of Government at all levels.
To reach the stated objectives, faculty members were drawn from the academia, practitioners, public policy professionals, politicians and development specialists. Some of the lead speakers/presenters at the retreat included Minister of Works and Housing and former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji FASHOLA, SAN; Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial District and former Governor of Borno State, Sen. Kashim SHETTIMA, CON; Development Economist and Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Sen. Olubunmi ADETUNMBI; Economist and Chief Executive Officer at Economic Associates, Dr. AyodeleTERIBA; and, Director-General of the Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery, Prof. Bolaji ALUKO.
Participants at the retreat reflected on the first edition held in 2019 at Iloko where an Action Plan Declaration and JKF-2.0 Administration Priority Programmes were unveiled. In doing so, participants reviewed the progress made and challenges which militated against the attainment of proposed milestones. Especially, the retreat surmised that some of the plans ratified from Iloko became unattainable as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global economy, affecting the State very badly.
Nonetheless, the mid-term Evaluation and Monitoring Report indicated that the State’s budget performed creditably improving in performance between 2018 and 2020. There was also indication that EKSG MDAs have evolved appreciable linkages which promoted smoother working relationships resulting into greater efficiency. Further to this, the retreat, which had Dr. OtiveIGBUZOR as lead facilitator, agreed that:a. Governance decisions and programme shall be pursued with the mindfulness of the welfare and wellbeing of our people as the central post of government’s development agenda;b. Government shall continue to place high premium on various youth development programmes through strengthening of interagency collaboration and identification employment and capacity development opportunities;c. Government officials and institutions shall continue to work together to not only improve efficiency but also effectiveness to ensure that Ekiti people can draw tangible benefits from government programmes;d. Government must mobilise all necessary resources to improve the security situation across the state in a bid to further stimulating commerce and development programmes;e. Government institutions shall continue to strive to improve the investment climate and attract economic regenerative ventures which will afford the provision of jobs, empowerment and contribute to State’s Gross Domestic Product (SGDP);f. EKSG must increase investments and focus on agricultural enterprises and agricultural-oriented data to improve production of food and cash crops, forestry upgrade, animal husbandry and to achieve the establishment and operationalisation of the agro-processing zone in the State;g. Government shall further redouble its investments in developing the capacity of the public institutions through personnel training, provisioning of working tools and upgrade of facilities;h. MDAs shall double their efforts to ensure timeous and cost-value delivery of physical infrastructure to set the State as an investment delight and improving living conditions for Ekiti people;i. In recognition of the current global and national economic outlook, EKSG’s MDA clusters shall recalibrate their priorities with a view to practically deliver with best meaningful outcomes that lead to more prosperous State and people;j. Revenue and investment generating institutions shall intensify efforts towards increasing the liquidity profile of the State and contribute to public funding for development projects;k. As part of the quest to improve on the State’s revenue profile, Government must fast-track its land administration and management programme to ensure certainty and remove arbitrariness in the allocation of land assets in the State.l. Government shall cascade various State activities such as capacity development, funding opportunities, efficient financial management and ICT at the Local Government level;m. Political activities shall be organised in such a manner as to prevent disruption of governance programmes and outcomes.
Participants were grateful to the Governor for his unwavering commitment to the development of the State and pledged their unflinching support towards his vision for the State. They affirmed that the retreat had rejigged them for timely delivery on the programmes of the JKF-2.0 administration.